March 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin in BC, Week 2

Kristin's plastic waste

Name: Kristin

Week: 2

Personal Info:
Couple in Prince George, BC working & attending university plus bunny.

Blog: http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com

Total items: 37

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Plastic recycling is not available in our area, it sadly all goes in the trash.

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. 50kg bag of sand (for icy walkway, used throughout winter)
2. Plastic wrap from picture frame (part of v-day gift)
3. 3 Bread bags(odds & ends from the freezer)
4. Wine cork
5. Band-Aid tabs & used Band-Aids (I acquired a brutal scrape on the back of my heel that interfered with wearing shoes all week)
6. Rice Noodle tray& wrapping
7. Potato bag (5kg)
8. Various stickers from fruit
9. PopChips bag
10. Lays chip bag (not shown)
11. Pasta bag
12. 2 Bread bag tags
13. 2 Styrofoam cups
14. 2 Plastic forks
15. 2 Dairy Queen Blizzard cups
16. 2 Dairy Queen spoons
17. Rice stick noodle bag
18. Plastic sample attachment from bottle of gin (at least the sample bottle is glass…)
19. Peanut bag (leftover from summer camping)
20. Bean sprout bag
21. Plastic wrap
22. Lid from container reused many times
23. Bottle of face cream (lasted me almost 2 years!)
24. Inner bag from box of cereal (we don’t buy often)
25. Ketchup bag (always lasts for ages)
26. Breton cracker liner
27. 2 Rice cracker trays
28. Miss Vickies chip bag
29. Instant noodles package
30. Mushroom tray w/ plastic wrap
31. 3 Caramel wrappers (leftover from Halloween)
32. 7 Pieces dental floss
33. Brown rice crisp bag
34. Garbage bag for the weeks trash
35. Spice (cumin) bag (bulk spices aren’t available here, but a bag is better than a bottle, right?)
36. Wakame rice pasta bag including 3 inner paper rings (coated with wax or plastic of some kind)
37. Plastic wrap from Kleenex (someone’s sniffly this week…)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
*50kg bag of sand (for icy walkway, used throughout winter) Apparently our room mate knows where the city gets their sand from, just outside of town. Maybe next winter we’ll take a few buckets & go with him.

*3 Bread bags & 2 tags. I do quite a bit of baking, including bread, but these were existing items from the freezer.

*Wine cork. We could easily choose wines that only had real cork stoppers. If only the foil wasn’t covering them…

*Potato Bag (5kg) Could be purchased in bulk, however these were little potatoes and would have required a container of some sort IF they were available in bulk (which they weren’t at the time)

*Popchips, Lays, Breton, Rice Crackers, Miss Vickies & Rice crisps. Working on home made snacks rather than store bought junk.

*2 Styrofoam cups. We forgot the water bottle while running errands

*2 Plastic forks. We also forgot to grab a snack before we headed out…

* 2 Dairy Queen Blizzard cups & spoons. We’re completely guilty here, we caved.

*Rice stick noodle bag, pasta bag & wakame rice pasta bag. Gluten free pasta in bulk isn’t available here sadly.

*Plastic sample attachment from bottle of gin (at least the sample bottle is glass…) I could have taken a bottle that didn’t have a sample bottle attached to it, but I didn’t…

*Peanut bag (leftover from summer camping). Peanuts could have been purchased in bulk, but these are from 7 months ago.

*Bean sprout bag. They’re only available prepackaged, but it’s something we could quit buying.

*Plastic wrap. Thoughtlessly used by “someone else” in the house. A plate could have been used to cover the bowl.

*Bottle of face cream (lasted me almost 2 years!). I will be shopping for a new face cream and will take into consideration the packaging.

*Inner bag from box of cereal (we don’t buy often) I suspect our days of purchasing cereal are over.

*Mushroom tray. Usually I buy mushrooms in bulk in a paper bag, but when we make pad thai we like an assortment of different mushrooms. I will check the “Chinese Store” (yes, that’s actually what it’s called!) for dried mushrooms, but I suspect they’ll be packaged in plastic as well.

*Spice (cumin) bag (bulk spices aren’t available here, but a bag is better than a bottle, right?)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
*Plastic wrap from picture frame (part of v-day gift)
*Potato bag (5kg)
*PopChips bag
*Lays chip bag (not shown)
*2 Bread bag tags
*2 Styrofoam cups
*2 Plastic forks
*2 Dairy Queen Blizzard cups
*2 Dairy Queen spoons
*Plastic sample attachment from bottle of gin (at least the sample bottle is glass…)
*Peanut bag (leftover from summer camping)
*Bean sprout bag
*Plastic wrap
*Inner bag from box of cereal (we don’t buy often)
*Ketchup bag (always lasts for ages)
*Breton cracker liner
*2 Rice cracker trays
*Miss Vickies chip bag
*Instant noodles package
*Mushroom tray w/ plastic wrap
*12 Caramel wrappers (leftover from Halloween)
*Brown rice crisp bag
*Plastic wrap from Kleenex (we only use it when there’s a runny nose, otherwise it’s recycled T.P.)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
*Various stickers from fruit. I remember a coworker making up a song a few years ago about how much he hated the stickers on fruit.

*Rice stick noodle bag, pasta bag & wakame rice pasta bag. Gluten free pasta in bulk isn’t available here sadly. Making gluten free pasta is near impossible as well.

*Garbage bag for the weeks trash. Until the ground thaws to allow for composting in excess of what our worms can handle.

Pieces dental floss. As mentioned last week, I will be switching to a silk dental floss when this container is up, but the container housing the floss is plastic as well. There’s no escaping it.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Yet again this week the majority of my plastic garbage is from processed foods. For someone who makes a TON of what we eat from scratch, you would think that the chip bags stacking up wouldn’t be an issue in our house. I am finding that I’m more aware when I’m out shopping though, buying the garlic or peppers in bulk rather than the 3 pack in a plastic bag. And we honestly don’t go to dairy queen often. I promise. The winter doldrums are in full swing around here, even though we’re starting to get more hours of sunlight finally. Many people eat for emotional reasons, and we’re on board that ship for sure.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Bean sprout bag. We don’t eat them often, and wont buy them unless they become available in bulk.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com/2011/02/weeks-worth-of-plastic-round-2.html

Please give me suggestions!
Our vermiculture worms can’t seem to keep up. It’s almost like they’re hibernating! Any suggestions on how to get them to eat more?